10 Best Female Tennis Players of All Time (Profiles & Records)

By Lin
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When it comes to the best female tennis players of all time, women are slowly but surely proving that they’re just as capable of playing tennis as men are. There is a long list of the greatest female tennis players who’ve made a mark on the sport in recent years — and even before that. 

best female tennis players of all time
10 Greatest Female Tennis Players of All Time

We selected the 10 best female tennis players of all time and provided you with the most detailed career records of these women tennis players including but not limited to Grand Slam and ATP titles. Read on to know more.

10. Justine Henin


  • Birth of the Date: June 1, 1982
  • Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium.
  • Turned Pro: 1999
  • Retired: 2011
  • Height: 5 ft 5.5 in (167 cm)
  • Plays: Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
  • Hall of Fame: 2016

Justine Henin is a Belgium professional tennis player who spent 117 weeks as world No.1 and 3 times as year-end No.1 in 2003, 2006, and 2007. 

Henin won 7 Grand Slam singles titles: winning the French Open in 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2007, the US Open in 2003 and 2007, and the Australian Open in 2004. She also won a gold medal in the women’s singles at the 2004 Olympic Games and won the year-ending WTA Tour Championships in 2006 and 2007. In total, she won 43 WTA singles titles.

Henin’s offense is just phenomenal as she is just head and shoulders above everyone else. Her balance, footwork, and coverage made her effortlessly change from a defensive style to an aggressive one.

Henin’s single-handed backhand was the most powerful and accurate in the game. She could hit her backhand flat, with heavy topspin, or slice. Her forehand was generally regarded as her most dangerous weapon, and the stroke that she normally used to dictate play in a match.

Career Stats & Records

  • World No.1 for 117 weeks
  • Year-end No.1 for 3 times
  • 3 Times consecutive French Open championships in 2006-08.
  • Won 2 French Open championships without losing a set
  • 2 Grand Slam singles titles without losing a set in one season (2007)
  • All Tournaments W-L: 141-28 | Win Rate: 83.4%

9. Maureen Connolly

Photo Credit: Sportskeeda


  • Birth of the Date: September 17, 1934
  • Birthplace: San Diego, CA
  • Retired: 1955
  • Height: 5’ 5” (165 cm)
  • Plays: Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
  • Hall of Fame: 1968

At the 1951 U.S. Championships, the 16-year-old Connolly defeated Shirley Fry to become the youngest ever to win America’s most prestigious tennis tournament. Connolly won her first Wimbledon title in 1952, defeating Louise Brough in the final, and won the title at the 1952 U.S. Championships against Doris Hart.

For the 1953 season, she entered all four Grand Slam tournaments for the first time. She defeated Julie Sampson Haywood and Doris Hart in the finals. She became the first woman and the second tennis player after Don Budge, to win the world’s four major titles in the same year, commonly known as a “Grand Slam.” 

Many people believe that she could continue to win a lot of trophies and titles if the horseback riding accident did not happen which ended her tennis career at age 19. 

Connolly was a hard-swinging baseliner. She struck the ball cleanly and forcefully, powering past her opponents with a game that relied heavily on groundstrokes and little on-the-net play. The New York Times tennis writer Allison Danzig said, “Maureen, with her perfect timing, fluency, balance and confidence, has developed the most overpowering forehand stroke of its kind the game has known.”

Career Stats & Records

  • Grand Slam
  • First woman in history to win a Calendar Grand Slam
  • Only player in history to win a title without losing a set at all four major championships
  • Youngest ever to win the U.S. national championship for girls 18 and under
  • All Tournaments W-L: 53-2 | Win Rate: 96.3%

8. Monica Seles

Photo: AELTC/Michael Cole


  • Birth of the Date: December 2, 1973
  • Birthplace: Novi Sad, Yugoslavia
  • Turn Pro: 1989
  • Retired: 2008
  • Height: 5’ 10” (178 cm)
  • Plays: Left-handed (two-handed on both sides)
  • Holl of Fame: 2009

Monica Seles won 9 Grand Slam titles in singles, 8 of 9 as a teenager representing Yugoslavia, and the final one representing the United States. 

From 1991 to 1993, Seles played in eight major singles finals and captured seven of them, all before her 20th birthday. At age 18, when most teenagers are determining their freshman college courses, Seles became the world’s No. 1 ranked player, a slot she held in 1991 and 1992.  

However, on April 30, 1993, Seles was stabbed in the back during a quarter-final match against Magdalena Maleeva. Seles was recovering for over two years after the stabbing. Though she enjoyed some success after returning in 1995, she could not consistently produce her best tennis. 

Several historians have stated that Seles had the potential to become one of the most accomplished female players of all time if she had not been stabbed.

Seles was a baseline player known for her highly aggressive playing style. She could create sharp angles around the court and hit winners at will. Her unconventional double-handed forehand and backhand were smashed flat with speed, power, and depth.

Seles was also known as the first woman player to accompany her shots with loud grunting and was frequently criticized for doing so.

Career Stats & Records

  • 9 Grand Slam singles titles
  • 3 Consecutive AU Open singles titles (1991-93)
  • 3 Consecutive French Open singles titles (1990-92)
  • 33 Consecutive wins at AU Open in 1991-99
  • Youngest champion at age 16 (French Open)
  • All Tournaments W-L: 180-31 | Win Rate: 85.3%

7. Billie Jean King

Photo Credit: Freshair


  • Birth of the Date: November 22, 1943
  • Birthplace: Long Beach, CA, U.S.
  • Turn Pro: 1968
  • Retired: 1990
  • Height: 5’ 4.5” (164 cm)
  • Plays: Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
  • Holl of Fame: 1987

In 1972, King made her Career Grand Slam in singles. She is one of only five women at that time to achieve the feat. King’s 1968 mixed doubles championship at the Australian added a Career Grand Slam in that category to her portfolio.

King was an all-court player; she played aggressively, hit her groundstrokes with a purpose, and was a tenacious net player. Her court speed was exceptional, and her competitiveness was the edge that earned her a 695-155 (82 percent) record in singles and an 87-37 mark in doubles. 

King’s all-court game made her an ideal doubles partner. She teamed with Aussie Owen Davidson to win eight of her 11 titles, four coming at Wimbledon. Ten women’s doubles titles came at Wimbledon, five at the U.S. Nationals/U.S. Open, and one at the French. 

The most significant moment in King’s life happened in 1973: the famous Battle of the Sexes match. Bobby Riggs was a top men’s player in the 1930s and 1940s. The 29-year-old King beat the 55-year-old Riggs with 6–4, 6–3, 6–3 in front of an audience estimated 50 million people (U.S.) and 90 million over 37 countries. A match is significant in developing respect for women’s tennis. 

King said, “I thought it would set us back 50 years if I didn’t win that match. It would ruin the women’s tour and affect all women’s self-esteem,” and that “To beat a 55-year-old guy was no thrill for me. The thrill was exposing a lot of new people to tennis.”

Career Stats & Records

  • Career Grand Slam in singles
  • Career Grand Slam in mixed doubles
  • 12 Grand Slam singles titles
  • 20 Career titles at Wimbledon (6 in singles, 10 in doubles, 4 in mixed doubles)
  • All Tournaments W-L: 190-39 | Win Rate: 83%

6. Christ Evert

Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images


  • Birth of the Date: December 21, 1954
  • Birthplace: Fort Lauderdale, FL, U.S.
  • Turned Pro: 1972
  • Retired: 1989
  • Height: 5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
  • Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
  • Hall of Fame: 1995

Evert was the first tennis player to win 1,000 singles matches. Besides, she compiled the second most career match wins (1,309), behind Martina Navratilova(1,442). Ever won 18 Grand Slam singles titles in her tennis career. And completed the Career Grand Slam at Australia Open in 1982.

Evert’s strengths were her speed, detailed footwork, court coverage, consistency, and mental fortitude. Despite having success on all surfaces, her favorite surface was clay. Evert’s seven French Open singles titles stood for 27 years until Rafael Nadal broke it in 2013. Yet, she still holds the record for female players. 

Evert was one of the first women who used a double-handed backhand on the WTA tour. A double-handed backhand will result in less reach than a one-handed backhand. But, it provided some power and consistency and would later become the standard for female tennis players.

Career Stats & Records

  • Career Grand Slam
  • World No.1 for 260 weeks
  • Year-end No.1 for 7 times
  • 7 French Open singles titles
  • 125 Consecutive clay-court match victories (1974-1979)
  • 31 Consecutive wins in U.S. Open (1975-79)
  • 3 Titles without losing a set in U.S. Open (1976-78)
  • 100% (13–0) match winning percentage in 1 season (1976)
  • Highest clay court winning percentage (94.55%) in WTA
  • The first female to reach one million dollars in career prize money
  • All Tournaments W-L: 299-37 | Win Rate: 88.9%

5. Martina Navratilova


  • Birth of the Date: October 18, 1956
  • Birthplace: Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • Turned Pro: 1974
  • Retired: 2006
  • Height: 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
  • Plays: Left-handed (one-handed backhand)
  • Hall of Fame: 2000

Navratilova dominated women’s tennis both in the 1970s and 1980s. She won 18 women’s singles, 31 women’s doubles, and 10 mixed doubles titles. Of 59 major titles, it’s the most in the Open Era. 

Navratilova’s been the world No. 1 in singles for 332 weeks (second only to Steffi Graf) and 237 weeks in doubles. She was the only player in history to have held the top rankings in both disciplines for more than 200 weeks.

She reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times, including for 9 consecutive years from 1982 through 1990. 

Navratilova has accomplished a Career Boxed Set, referring to a Career Grand Slam in singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.

Career Stats & Records

  • Career Grand Slam
  • Career Boxed Set
  • World No.1 for 332 weeks
  • 41 Combined doubles titles (same-sex & mixed)
  • 7+ Doubles titles at all four Majors
  • 6 Consecutive Grand Slams won (1983-84)
  • 6 Titles won without losing a set (1983-90)
  • Winner of Grand Slam titles (singles/doubles/mixed) in four decades (1974-06)
  • All Tournaments W-L: 306-49 | Win Rate: 86.2%

4. Helen Wills

Photo Credit: Wimbledon


  • Birth of the Date: October 6, 1905
  • Birthplace: Centerville, CA
  • Retired: 2006
  • Height: 5’ 7.5” (171 cm)
  • Plays: Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
  • Hall of Fame: 1959

Wills was the first American woman to win the French Championships. In 1928, she became the first tennis player, male or female, to win three Grand Slam titles in one calendar year. 

During her 17-year career, Wills entered 24 Grand Slam singles events, winning 19, finishing runner-up three times, and defaulting twice due to her appendectomy. Wills won 31 Grand Slam titles in singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.

Wills was the first American woman athlete to become a celebrity. She was part of a new tennis fashion, typically wearing a white sailor suit having a pleated knee-length skirt, white shoes, a short sleeve top, and a cerise-colored cardigan. Her signature white visor was the most iconic part of her attire, which she wore almost without exception since her junior playing days.

Unusually, she practiced against men to hone her craft, and she played a relentless predominantly baseline game, taking down her female opponents with power and accuracy. Wills served and volleyed with mighty forehand and backhand strokes. She forced her opponents out of position by placing deep shots left and right.

Career Stats & Records

  • 19 Grand Slam Singles titles
  • 9 Grand Slam Doubles titles
  • One Olympic Gold Metal in singles
  • One Olympic Gold Metal in doubles
  • Winning 161 straight matches (141 straight without losing a set) 
  • First American woman to win French Championships
  • First tennis player to win 3 major titles in the same year
  • All Tournaments W-L: 126-3 | Win Rate: 97.7%

3. Margaret Court

Photo Credit: WIKI


  • Birth of the Date: July 16, 1942
  • Birthplace: Albury, Australia
  • Turned Pro: 1960
  • Retired: 1977
  • Height: 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
  • Plays: Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
  • Hall of Fame: 1979

Court’s career spanned both amateur and professional eras. Her 24 major singles titles, 19 women’s doubles, and 21 mixed doubles titles, a total of 63 major titles are the most in tennis history.

Court completed a Career Grand Slam at 21 with her victory at Wimbledon in 1963. Court also set the record for most singles titles in a single Grand Slam event, with 11 Australian Open wins. 

Court is the only player to have won the Grand Slam in both singles and mixed doubles. She won the Grand Slam in singles in 1970, the mixed doubles in 1963 with fellow Australian Ken Fletcher, and the mixed doubles Grand Slam in 1965 with three different partners (Fletcher, John Newcombe, and Fred Stolle).

Career Stats & Records

  • Grand Slam – singles
  • Grand Slam – mixed doubles
  • Non-calendar Year Grand Slam
  • Grand Slam Boxed Set
  • Career Grand Slam for at least 3 times
  • Triple Crown (winning 3 types of matches at one event)
  • The most Grand Slam singles titles in history (a total of 24)
  • Best Grand Slam match win percentage (90.6%) in the Open Era
  • 11 Australia Open singles titles
  • All Tournaments W-L: 207-23 | Win Rate: 90%

2. Steffi Graff

Photo Credit: Imago/Panoramic


  • Birth of the Date: June 14, 1969
  • Birthplace: Mannheim, Germany
  • Turned Pro: 1982
  • Retired: 1999
  • Height: 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
  • Plays: Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
  • Hall of Fame: 2004

Graff is the only tennis player who claimed the Golden Grand Slam. She won a Calendar-year Grand Slam and Olympic Gold in the same year. 

Graf also remains the only tennis player to have won the Grand Slam on three surfaces and at least four times.

Graff also ranked world No.1 for 377 weeks, a record of the most weeks for male or female. She was the Year-end No.1 for 8 times in 1987-90 and 1993-96. Throughout her major tournaments, she won 278 matches out of 310, leaving an almost 89.7% winning percentage on the record.

Graf had the best footwork. She hit the ball on the rise, lifting herself off the ground to pound her forehand drive. She was vastly fit due to a structured training schedule that made her strong and quick. 

Career Stats & Records

  • Golden Slam
  • Grand Slam
  • 100% Match winning percentage in 1 season (1988,1995,1996)
  • 4+ titles in all four Majors (1987-95)
  • 2+ Consecutive titles in all four Majors (1987-89)
  • 3+ Grand Slam titles
  • Defeated the top 3 seeded players in the same tournament
  • The one and only tennis player won Grand Slam titles at least 4 times
  • Won 3 majors singles titles in a calendar year five times
  • World No.1 for 337 weeks
  • All Tournaments W-L: 278-32 | Win Rate: 89.7%

1. Serena Williams

Photo Credit: WTA


  • Birth of the Date: September 26, 1981
  • Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.
  • Turned Pro: 1995
  • Retired: 2022
  • Height: 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
  • Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
  • Hall of Fame: N/A

Williams ranked world No. 1 in singles by WTA for 319 weeks and finished as the year-end No. 1 five times. She has 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the most by any player in the Open Era. And completed the Non-calendar Year Grand Slam and Career Grand Slam. She defeated Sharapova in the 2012 London Olympics, won the gold medal, and became the first tennis player in both singles and doubles.

Williams was the world’s highest-paid woman athlete in 2016, earning $29 million. In 2017, she was the only woman on Forbes’ list of the 100 highest-paid athletes, with $27 million in prize money and endorsements. 

Williams’ greatest asset is her serve. She served the ball with its fast pace and accurate placement, allowing her to have tons of aces. At the 2013 Australian Open, she served a 128.6 mph (207 km/h) ace in her third-round match against Ayumi Morita. It became the third fastest serve in WTA history.

Williams is also known for her forceful groundstrokes. She hits the balls in an open stance both on her forehand and backhand. It resulted in more powerful groundstrokes at the best chance. 

Career Stats & Records

  • Non-calendar Year Grand Slam
  • Career Grand Slam
  • Career Golden Slam
  • Surface Slam (Won a title on every surface in a calendar year)
  • World No.1 for 319 weeks
  • Year-end No.1 for 5 times
  • Most women’s singles titles in Australia Open (a total of 7)
  • 6+ Titles at three different Grand Slams (Australian Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open)
  • 69+ Wins at all four Grand Slams (1998-21)
  • Highest-earning woman athlete of all time
  • Most Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era
  • All Tournaments W-L: 367-56 | Win Rate: 86.8%

What’s Next

Today, there has never been a better time for women to play tennis. Thanks to pioneers such as Billie Jean King and many others, the women’s game is now almost as popular as the men’s. And finally, we hope you enjoy this list of best female tennis players, and if you have any questions feel free to reach out. 

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Editor of All Points Tennis and a huge Roger Federer fan, I've spent countless hours studying his moves, especially his forehand and one-handed backhand. I also love writing about all the technical stuff like rackets and strings. I'm super pumped to share my insights with fellow tennis lovers here.